Donald Fagenson (Don Was) and David Weiss (David Was), two nice Jewish boys from the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, were the Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of the early '80s, making acerbic commentaries on Reagan-era geopolitics over superbly produced and polished, futuristic punk-funk.
Detroit being the Motor City and the home of Motown and the MC5, Was (Not Was) incorporated equal parts R&B and rock, with soul vocals from Sweet Pea Atkinson and angular guitar courtesy of Wayne Kramer of the '5.
In January 2002, Brian Wilson and a nine-piece band, including The Wondermints and Carl Wilson-alike Jeffrey Foskett, performed The Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds in its entirety, and in sequence, over six nights at London's Royal Festival Hall. And now the best of those concerts have been remixed and remastered in 5.1 surround sound. This means you can now own the original LP in mono and stereo, the Pet Sounds Sessions box set, the Pet Sounds Live CD from 2002, and the Pet Sounds Live DVD!
The seemingly ageless Chrissie Hynde storms her way through 26 songs on Pretenders Loose in LA EAGLE VISION , recorded at the Wiltern Theater in February this year. The run-in is particularly impressive as she turns the clock back almost a quarter of a century to the band's spectacular debut album with a sequence that includes "Tattooed Love Boys", "Precious", "Mystery Achievement" and the mighty "Brass In Pocket".
Gung-ho navy flyboys Willem Dafoe and Brad Johnson, disillusioned with America's half-hearted prosecution of the war in Vietnam, attempt to hurry the conflict to a conclusion by taking it upon themselves to bomb Hanoi. Hilarious macho nonsense from John Milius at his most demented, in other words.
Prompting both genuflections at its breakneck brilliance and gasps at its gung-ho grisliness, Roger Avary's comeback has been a startling opinion-divider. Fans of the Bret Easton Ellis novel will relish the former Tarantino sidekick's fidelity to the blank immorality of the prose, yet the movie bursts with visual ideas. James Van Der Beek is fearlessly irredeemable as Sean Bateman (younger brother of the American Psycho), flailing across campus, gobbling up narcotics, rock'n'roll (it has a great soundtrack), girls, boys, suicides, whatever.
More wonder and thunder from down under. Mick Harvey's extensive track record (Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Crime & The City Solution) more than qualifies him to score a coming-of-age issue movie set in "a small coastal town in Australia". Interestingly, the debuting director, Paul Goldman, shot the videos for Boys Next Door's "Shiver" and The Birthday Party's "Nick The Stripper", so he and Harvey have been communing aesthetically for a while. Harvey's been getting award nominations already for this, and it seems there's little he can't turn his hand to these days.